AnyTrack? Not around here!
So the AnyTrack pitch is that the little GPS-100 above is “perfect” for locating stolen boats or vehicles, or tracking something or someone precious. The interesting technology involved is a built-in CDMA cellular modem and “Assisted GPS” which can supposedly enable online locating even inside buildings (and is so far only available on the Sprint system, according to an AnyTrack tech). The unit appears to be very solidly built, but I’m sorry to report that the overall service, not inexpensive, seems to be pretty much useless, at least on the coast of Maine.
For the starters, the AnyTrack does not properly indicate whether it’s working or not. When I first fired it up and hit the “set” button, it responded with an LED sequence indicating that “the device has captured a cellular signal” (from the user guide). But when I went to the tracking site (which is the only way you can access AnyTrack), it couldn’t find me. Well, it turns out that Sprint doesn’t cover Camden (or much else of Maine) and, according to AnyTrack “The light sequence of your device is indicating that it has captured a cellular signal most likely because it is roaming. If a device is roaming it is unable to be found by Locate Now, and it is programmed not to transmit its location by Automatic Tracking because of additional roaming charges that would be incurred.” Isn’t that akin to a cell phone that shows bars but doesn’t work?
Plus you can’t turn on AnyTrack’s automatic tracking function unless it is in Sprint coverage. I found that out when I started it online and drove to Portland, figuring it would start tracking when it got a Sprint signal. Nope. It didn’t start until I called home and had my patient wife go the site and start it again. Then it worked, as shown below and bigger here, but wait until you see how the every-five-minute track compares to Sprint’s coverage map (an entry to come). Now I must note that this review would probably be a lot kinder if I happened to live in an area well covered by Sprint. But I don’t, and up here it seems like the only use for AnyTrack is to map where Sprint coverage is and isn’t. But it did please my wife. She spent years counseling victims of domestic violence and her first take on AnyTrack was that it would be useful to stalkers. Not around here.